Is accepting Jesus a sufficient condition of being saved?


#21

Cindy,

What a great post! And I hope that’s the way things are.


#22

Thanks, Lancia

I hope so too (at least in principle), but that said, I don’t think it’s possible for us to conceive a better or more loving plan that God’s true plan. And while I’m sure I’m mistaken on many of my ideas, I firmly trust that my mistakes lie on the side of believing God to be less, rather than MORE loving and generous, wise and kind and good than He truly is. :slight_smile:


#23

I don’t think that’s a particularly bad way of summing it up, Cindy. The Bible does talk about salvation in all three tenses; past, present and future. What each of these entail is an important discussion point but there does tend to be an emphasis within Christianity of salvation mainly being about the future - being saved from hell.


#24

I would agree that “the day” fits with ‘judgement day’ however seeing it as a past event pertinent to the end of the old covenant age… something that was in process from the Cross to the Coming destructing – the “40yr” period AD30-70.

The following texts being the backdrop of 1Cor 3:13-15.

Mt 10:32, 40-42 “Therefore whoever confesses Me before men, him I will also confess before My Father who is in heaven. … “He who receives you receives Me, and he who receives Me receives Him who sent Me. He who receives a prophet in the name of a prophet shall receive a prophet’s reward. And he who receives a righteous man in the name of a righteous man shall receive a righteous man’s reward. And whoever gives one of these little ones only a cup of cold water in the name of a disciple, assuredly, I say to you, he shall by no means lose his reward.”

The “rewards” for doing as Jesus did and greater (Jn 12:12) would be realised on “the day”… that day did not require biological death i.e., post mortem for this to be a reality, as this text indicates…

Mt 16:27-28 For the Son of Man will come in the glory of His Father with His angels, and then He will reward each according to his works. “Assuredly, I say to you, there are some standing here who shall NOT taste death till they see the Son of Man coming in His kingdom.”

According to Jesus some of his audience would survive into the coming new age having seen “the Day of the Lord” as a past event, that is, they would “NOT taste death” before they saw “the Son of Man coming in His kingdom”, i.e., AD70.


#25

think the kings of the earth mentioned in Revelation may be such individuals who start the process of being saved in the LOF. Here is a link to a post in which I explore this idea.

Yes without a doubt those kings of the earth are resurrected kings and generally in the OT most kings were evil so that again is a point i never thought of. I think in Revelation there are about 278 references and allusions to the OT so no doubt the kings of the earth is one of these allusions. Great points plus the ladies of the evening analogy fits well.
I like the idea about believers in the process of salvation may go through fire, as it makes sense and solves issues of justice.


#26

Ultimately we are saved for eternal existence with God but saved perhaps from many things on the way.

1Co 15:53 For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality.
1Co 15:54 So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory.
1Co 15:55 O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?
1Co 15:56 The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law.
1Co 15:57 But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

Heb 2:14 Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil;
Heb 2:15 And deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage.

The fear of death it would seem plays a role in our bondage to sin. We usually think the cause of death is our sin, and whilst this may be true to a point it would seem death is painted as being a tool of the devil, the power of which was broken by the death and Ressurection of Jesus.This all seems slightly mystical. But when we speak of being saved, it involves a process - not in order to arrive at a suitable condition to qualify for salvation, but because we have been saved a process of disentangling us from sin is involved; ultimately though not achieved until as Paul has stated in the 1Corinthians 15 not until death is swallowed up in victory.

Just a thought

Here’s a link to one of Richards articles on Experimental Theology along these lines. Don’t necessarily have to take the whole thing on board but some interesting points. Probably have to copy and paste link as I couldn’t get t it to work from my ipad.

experimentaltheology.blogspot.co … art-9.html

Cheers S


#27

Yes sturmy I believe you are right… I have further thoughts on how this plays out HERE, HERE and HERE. :stuck_out_tongue:


#28

In light of the question at hand, how do you all understand the following verses -

NB: All quotes from the ESV:

John 3:14 - “And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of Man be lifted up, that whoever believes in him may have eternal life.”

John 3:16 - “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever *believes *in him should not perish but have eternal life."

John 3:18 - "Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God.’

John 3:36 - “Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life; whoever does not obey the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God remains on him.”

Of course, we have to consider a number of things, including context, but reading these verses as they stand, can give one the impression that not believing in Jesus Christ leads to condemnation, while belief leads to eternal life. And, that’s the way the Gospel is presented by some groups. So, again, what do you all understand these verses to mean, particularly in light of the thread title and question herein.

**


#29

In addition to my post above, I would just like to add that I am a bit uncertain about the relationship between belief in Jesus, and being rescued or “saved” from sin. I say this, because, I have been reading a lot lately about the lives of both theists (of various religions backgrounds), and atheists, who seem to have overcome previous life controlling addictions (that many believers in Jesus are still struggling to overcome), and, who have a genuine, active, self-sacrificial love for other human beings. I’ve also been surprised by the effectiveness of tools/insight provided by psychology, and other fields, in helping others overcome things like sexual addictions and anger (to use Cindy’s examples).

It seems as though people of all religions, or no religion at all, are being “saved” from sin, and, that there are many different tools, and belief systems, that can bring about real heart transformation (not simply external behavioral modification). I’m not saying we don’t need Jesus to be “saved” from our sin, but rather, that it doesn’t appear to me that being rescued from the dominion/power/stranglehold of sin is limited to a belief in Jesus Christ. I guess I am just a bit confused. :confused:


#30

John 3:36 - “Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life; whoever does not obey the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God remains on him.”

Of course, we have to consider a number of things, including context, but reading these verses as they stand, can give one the impression that not believing in Jesus Christ leads to condemnation, while belief leads to eternal life. And, that’s the way the Gospel is presented by some groups. So, again, what do you all understand these verses to mean, particularly in light of the thread title and question herein.

This thread was not contradicting these verses but making the point that the road to true salvation is a process whereas even a believer will have to be purified by fire of some kind in this life and possibly the next. It starts by accepting Jesus but doesn’t end there as we are still human with all it’s flaws. We will be transformed into the image of Jesus through some kind of process.


#31

It seems as though people of all religions, or no religion at all, are being “saved” from sin, and, that there are many different tools, and belief systems, that can bring about real heart transformation (not simply external behavioral modification). I’m not saying we don’t need Jesus to be “saved” from our sin, but rather, that it doesn’t appear to me that being rescued from the dominion/power/stranglehold of sin is limited to a belief in Jesus Christ. I guess I am just a bit confused. :confused:

In John it says Jesus died for the sins of the world and in John 1.9 it says the true light (Jesus) has come to every man so humans are not incapable of doing good works. IMHO these folks benefit from having a certain amount of light in their hearts and benefit unknowingly. If i had to take a trip of 100 miles in a day i may be able to walk on my own for 15 miles but at some point i would need help, and Jesus is that help.


#32

Yes, that’s the view I was trying to present in this thread. Thanks for expressing it so succinctly.


#33

Some other verses indicating believers experience fire,

“I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance , but He that comes after me is mightier than I, whose shoes i am not worthy to bear. He shall baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with FIRE.” Matt 3.11

“That the trial of your faith being much more precious than of gold that perishes, though it be tried in the FIRE, might be found unto praise” 1 Pet 1.7

“Beloved think it not strange concerning the FIERY trial which is to try you as though some strange thing happened unto you” 1 Peter 4.12

The word for “fire” in these verses is “pur” the same greek word used in the Lake of Fire and for God being described as a consuming FIRE in Heb 12.29.

Of course in 1st Cor 15 it says in the end God (Consuming fire) will be “all in all.”


#34

CH, I have to agree with Steve in that some folks do have more success dealing with sin in their lives regardless of whether they’re Christians or atheists or some other belief system. My husband, for example, when he was a young college dude :wink: did a lot of drinking and was also a smoker of various and sundry plant materials. At some point he decided that drinking was hurting him, and he quit. Just like that. When it came out that smoking things was also not a good idea, health-wise, he quit that too. No problems. He has, well, a certain callousness toward people who struggle and struggle to quit things that are obviously hurting them and the people around them.

I, on the other hand, never drank much, never smoked, but I had a TERRIBLE time with biting my fingernails. I was actually IN college by the time I finally quit making my fingers bleed, and that only came about because I got a painful infection in my pinkie and could barely use a pencil. And fingernails aren’t even an addictive substance. Some of us just come into the world with well-coded DNA in this area or that, or that’s my opinion. We tend to credit ourselves with these flaws or virtues, but it’s honestly not to our credit or blame if we struggle with certain things. YES, we MUST struggle with them if struggling is what’s called for, but I’m not sure we can judge between the merit of one person over another on the basis of how easy it is for them to leave behind anger, sexual addiction, substance abuse, cruelty, etc. (And of course, when a person is self-reporting on his/her spiritual/moral progress, it’s nearly impossible for her not to fudge just a little. It would be difficult for me, I have no doubt. :laughing: )

Another thing I’ve noticed about my own behavior is that so long as there are no irritants, I can be a wonderful, calm, cool, collected, compassionate, caring person. But, force me into the company of an abrasive, whiny, obstinate, self-centered, rude, proud, fearful, cranky person, and pretty soon I’ll be reacting just like she does. :blush: Being “good” in the former situation isn’t much of a surprise; being kind in the latter is divine providence, no matter what your belief system (or lack thereof) may be. :wink:

The way I see this (and lots of people will disagree, though not necessarily all that many people here) is that we came up to the place we (humans) are now through a l-o-n-g process of evolution. Most of us have baggage left over from 100K years or so ago, and longer, but our goal is to become like Christ. We can never fully overcome that developmental process until we spiritually die to the flesh/sarx/beast nature and live by the life of God (and that is a process). We have mental baggage and we have to learn to live by our spirits (which come from God and are not equivalent to our brains) instead of allowing our neurological/endocrinological systems to dominate our behavior. (We have physical baggage as well, which can cause illnesses of various kinds, including neurological/mental – but that’s another topic.)

I see the act of impartation of the life breath to Adam as a giving of the spirit of LIFE to an animal who had evolved sufficiently to host that LIFE and even begin to express it to a limited degree. Adam and Eve (et al) had intellect and cleverness, and on their spiritual awakening, the birth of consciousness, were so enamored with this cleverness (as we still are today) that they chose to depend on that knowledge – they knew the difference between good and evil – rather than to submit to the tutelage of their heavenly Father, the Spirit, their elder Brother. We could have had knowledge – true knowledge – through the LIFE, but instead we opted for independent knowledge, limited and hard-won and ultimately unsatisfying. We can still have that, Jesus said: “And this is eternal life: that they may know You and Jesus Christ, whom You sent.” It is God we must seek to know. If we seek Him, the bad will fall away in time. If we seek to be “good” by our own knowledge, we will sooner or later run up against the wall of our own abilities. For some people the wall is farther away because their native, fleshly abilities are greater, but for all of us I think, the “wall” is lamentably close when compared with the infinite potential for love when we trust and believe and follow Jesus.

About believing, and the verses you posted . . . I think you’re spot on. It’s our understanding, our belief, that God is FOR us that makes the difference. So long as we cannot or will not believe (which means, according to the Amplified Version, “trust in, rely on, cling to, believe in”), we don’t have the advantage we will have when we DO believe.

Love, Cindy


#35

I’m just passing through here VERY quickly, but wanted to clear up that I didn’t think the thread was contradicting the verses. It’s just that I find those particular verses to be difficult to understand (personally), because as I read them, it seems like believing IS a condition to be “saved”, and wanted others’ thoughts to help me get a better understanding. I thought the thread title was just awesome, because, the topic is something I have struggled with for a long time (esp. within the context of the scripture verses I quoted).

I will get back in here at soon, to read what y’all have said. Thank you for the responses. I appreciate it.

And, thank you Lancia, for your patience and kindness in letting me address these difficulties in here. I don’t mean to rudely hijack your thread :slight_smile: It is a great topic.


#36

You said, “It starts by accepting Jesus but doesn’t end there.” I guess this is where it gets a bit foggy to me, because, like I mentioned, it seems like people that hold different belief systems, are in fact being saved from their sins. So, maybe the process of salvation doesn’t start with acceptance of Christ? Perhaps, we can say that the process of salvation can begin without such a belief in, or acceptance of Jesus, but doesn’t end there???. After all, we do know that one day EVERY knee in heaven, on earth, and below the earth will confess Jesus is Lord.

I can appreciate this perspective. Thanks.

Reading this got me thinking that we really are a product of our environment --which makes it very hard for me to feel “morally superior” [HAH] to other human beings (and especially hard given my own struggles). Some time ago, I was looking at a mini-documentary on Myanmar’s persecuted Muslim minority. In the doc. the interviewer asked a young Buddhist boy, who could have been no more than 10 years old, what his reaction would be if he saw another Muslim boy his age. The boy smiled and said “I’d kill him.” The fearful reality is that I could easily be like that Buddhist boy, with murder in my heart, had I been born there. This is really sobering, because I can’t honestly say that I am “better,” morally speaking, than this boy, or anyone else.

I think this is synonymous with what Steve7150 was saying, and, I think I understand.

I’m agnostic about evolution (though I admit I still have a bend towards YEC), but it was interesting to read your perspective. [God knows I have come a long way in being open about these things.]

I honestly can’t sync my take on the verses I quoted with the verses themselves. I tried to hit on this in my previous post, because I think these verses come across as if belief in Jesus is a necessary condition that one must fulfil in order to be saved from “condemnation” - whatever that means. I’ve been listening to two “non-conventionalist” Pastors (one is a Linguist and the other is fluent in Koine Greek and Biblical Hebrew). They both think that the English translations we have of the Bible are horrible, and that those particular verses in the Greek manuscripts have totally different meanings. So, maybe this is why I think they come across as if God the Father is saying “If you believe in my Son, I will give you eternal life, but if you do not believe in Him, you are condemned” - Perhaps the translations reflect the particular theology of the translators themselves. Or maybe I am reading these verses from a Calvinist perspective. Or maybe I am just illiterate.


#37

You said, “It starts by accepting Jesus but doesn’t end there.” I guess this is where it gets a bit foggy to me, because, like I mentioned, it seems like people that hold different belief systems, are in fact being saved from their sins. So, maybe the process of salvation doesn’t start with acceptance of Christ? Perhaps, we can say that the process of salvation can begin without such a belief in, or acceptance of Jesus, but doesn’t end there???. After all, we do know that one day EVERY knee in heaven, on earth, and below the earth will confess Jesus is Lord.

Maybe i should have said “it starts by accepting the fact we need to repent of our sins.” That should lead one to Jesus. Perhaps the first event in Christianity was John’s baptism of repentance to prepare their hearts for the coming of the Lord.


#38

This is one thing:
“belief in Jesus Christ”

This is another Thing:
“Jesus Christ”

Jesus Christ is the Savior. Our belief is not our savior.

Consider: “Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights” (James 1:17). Plus, “He makes His sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the unjust and on the unjust” (Matthew 5:45).

I remember seeing a passage somewhere that went something like this: ‘I witnessed about Jesus Christ to a Buddhist monk, and I asked him if he was ready to ask Jesus Christ to come into his heart. He replied to me, “I can’t do that, because He’s already been living in my heart this whole time. I just didn’t know His name until now.”’

In short, all good things (whether worldly or spiritual) are given to people by Christ. A man’s bank account, a man’s victory over alcohol, you name it, it all comes from Christ. He gives these good things to all sorts of people, Christians and non-Christians. We don’t become Christians in order to get stuff, but rather because we recognize that Christ is the Truth.

:slight_smile:


#39

CH,

I haven’t studied those verses in any ultra-literal translations, so I’ll have to take a look. You might like the Concordant Literal Version, which I think you can probably find on-line if you search it. I don’t have time to look them up right now, though, so I don’t know that they’re different.

I would say though, that when we read “condemned,” we think “condemned to death or hell,” when it doesn’t have to mean that. You might be condemned to 16 hours of public service in a court here in the USA, or to 10 years in prison. Very, very few are condemned to death (and NONE to eternal conscious torment! except perhaps by the curses of their victims) I think that we ARE condemned so long as we continue to cling to our sins. On the other hand, if we HATE our sins, as many do, but can’t seem to wrest ourselves free of them, we may be “condemned” to having those sins burned away – a thing I know I will be very, very relieved to be “condemned” to experience.

The way I see these is that so long as we don’t believe, we’re condemned to remain as we are, but God is also committed to helping us to believe. It’s never hopeless.

Love, Cindy


#40

Thanks, Cindy. And, I will look into the Concordant Literal Translation.

I was just going through a list of Bible verses, or proof texts, on an Atheist website, that shows some of the atrocities alledgedly committed by the OT God, Yahweh. Given that I have never actually read through the OT in its entirety, I was really shocked and disturbed by what I read. It made me think that if these (and other) verses misrepresent the true God, whom Jesus is an accurate representation of, then, perhaps, believing in Jesus is a necessary requirement to have eternal life (defined as knowing God). You know, because then we can see a God who does not go about killing his enemies, but, rather, a God that allows Himself to be killed by His enemies. And, I think, enemy love will go a long way in rescuing or saving the world from sin (or perishing). This makes more sense some of Jesus’ words, including John 3:16.